About the project

Abandoned and ruined churches, monasteries, dwelling caves from the Middle Ages, graveyards or prehistoric cult sites…Throughout remote areas in the South Caucasus one can find a large number of neglected cultural assets, that are in deep need of care and attention. Under the slogan “Crossing borders to save, preserve and care” this issue is currently addressed by the SOS Culture project which was launched in January 2012 by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC). 

With an overall duration of 24 months, the SOS Culture project is funded by the European Union within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Culture Program and is implemented by FPWC in cooperation with the dvv international – Georgia Country office and Research on Armenian Architecture Foundation. The overall EU contribution to SOS Culture project is 492,754 Euro.

The overall objective of the project is to register and preserve endangered cultural assets in the remote border regions of Armenia and Georgia with the involvement of local citizenry. Involvement of local communities will in its turn promote economic, social and cultural development in the areas, covered by the project. 

The approach of the SOS Culture project is rooted in the idea that well preserved and explored historic sites have a tremendous positive influence on the creation of an environment, which nurtures sustainable economic, social and human development in remote and impoverished regions, making those regions attractive for tourists. 

SOS Culture relies on the active involvement of youths (age 14 -23) from different national and ethnic origins living in the target areas of Armenia and Georgia. The young people participate in protection and research activities, implemented in the vicinity of their villages. These activities include cultural assets of different origins and religions, as well as pre-historic sites and medieval architectural monuments. By doing this, the project underlines that “Cultural assets belong to everybody”: regardless of nationality, religious faith or language, people living nearby a monument should care and preserve. This instils a new approach and knowledge about local cultural assets among the members of the youth clubs, established by FPWC and its Georgian project partner dvv international. Participating in the project activities, the members of the youth clubs support the cultural and touristic development of their regions. 

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Latest News

SOS Culture was presented in the UN World Tourism Conference

A conference on “Universal Values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century: How Can Tourism Make a Difference?” took place in Yerevan, Armenia on 18-19 of October, 2012. On October 18th the conference had a special focus on “Tourism and Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites”. In this frame, the EU funded SOS Culture Project was introduced to the international audience as an example of how to involve young people in remote border villages in the preservation of their local monuments. The aim o[more]

First Regional Conference of the EaP Culture Programme

On 08-09 October 2012 the First Regional Conference of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Culture Programme took place. The EaP Culture Programme aims at strengthening the capacity of the culture sector in the Eastern Partnership countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). The conference was organised by the RMCBU (Regional Monitoring and Capacity Building Unit) within the EaP Culture Programme. Among the special guests of the conference were representatives of several Min[more]

Interview with Giorgi Patashuri

Within the framework of “SOS Culture” project the field works aimed on getting acquainted with/exploring neglected historic and cultural heritage assets have been systemically organized for the Youth Clubs in target regions; the members have constantly been accompanied by the  art critic, Giorgi Patashuri. He works at the non governmental organization “Our Heritage”. As a rule, there is only very little information in the society regarding ignored monuments, with the help of Giorgi you[more]

SOS Culture participated in the celebration of Varaga Holy Cross

The members of SOS Culture youth club in Varagavan organized a small info campaign during the celebration of Varaga Surb Khach (Varaga Holy Cross). They had prepared posters informing people about the necessity to keep our environment and cultural assets clean. Even before the celebration youth club members had started making posters with the slogans like: “Don’t spoil our nature”, “Don’t ignore our cultural assets”, “Let’s preserve our cultural monuments”. The celebration of Varaga Holy Cros[more]

Project Cycle Management Workshop

The first Project Cycle Management Workshop within the EaP Culture Programme in the framework of the EU European Neighbourhood Policy took place on 10th-11th September 2012 at Holiday Inn Hotel, Tbilisi Georgia. All the partners of the SOS Culture project, which is funded by the European Union and is implemented in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, participated in the workshop. The workshop entitled Project Cycle Management Workshop was intended for project coordinato[more]